Kenya has exported 10 cases to its neighbors with seven of them going to Uganda and three to Rwanda.
Kenya leads its neighbors in the number of Covid-19 cases that have been reported in the region with 320 as of Thursday.
On Thursday, Uganda revealed that five of its 11 new cases came from Kenya and the remaining six came from Tanzania.
Last month, the Rwandan Health Ministry, confirming 17 new coronavirus cases, said three were Kenyan citizens who had recently traveled to the country.
In Uganda, the majority of cases have been related to truckers who arrived in the country from Kenya through the Malaba-Busia border post.
Spike witnessed in African countries
The increase in Uganda’s cases coincides with the increase seen in African countries on Thursday, where an unprecedented large number of new cases were recorded on the continent.
South Africa registered 318 new cases, Egypt 232, Cameroon 171, Guinea 101, Morocco 91, Somalia 42, Senegal 37, Sudan 22, DR Congo 18, Kenya 17, Mali 16 and Cape Verde 9.
However, there was no significant increase in the number of deaths across the continent.
The issue of truckers importing coronaviruses into the country places Uganda in a classic capture situation 22; focus on health or the economy.
Uganda’s Minister of Internal Affairs, General Odongo Jeje, on Thursday expressed concern about truckers entering Uganda.
“There is growing concern about long-distance truckers entering the country. The concern is that many of these truck drivers have tested positive, “he said during a press conference.
He said the national task force was considering the deployment of rapid test kits at the point of entry so that a driver knows their status before leaving the border.
Cross-border cargo checkpoints appear to be Uganda’s new battlefront after the country closed all of its borders but allowed cargo movement.
The government said Thursday that it is considering various options to control the entry of cargo drivers.
“While we are sacrificing ourselves to keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum, our efforts are undermined by imported cases. (The) government has noted these concerns and the national working group is now studying possible corrective actions, “said Odongo.
While on his way to the country last week, President Museveni said truck drivers who had a coronavirus screening test should continue their trips and only follow them if they tested positive.
Ugandans, meanwhile, are becoming increasingly agitated in light of the recent trend in the Covid cases, many of whom are cargo truck drivers.
Many have expressed concern on social media, saying it is regressive for Ugandans to do their part by observing orders to stay home only for foreigners to import the disease and spread it to the country.
Some propose that these truckers can enter the country only after their test results have been established.
Kiaan Ahuja is a reporter focusing on money in politics. Before joining Exports India he worked as a researcher and writer Dainik Bhaskar and as a freelance journalist for publications around the world, having been published by over 20 outlets including NPR, The Huffington Post, Salon, Truthout and VICE.com.